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The Weekend and Beyond

Some developments affecting your travels this weekend and in the future:

Some Free Fares
If you're going to the Columbia Pike Blues Festival on Saturday, go by Metrobus. It's free on routes 16B, 16G and 16J to the festival, which goes from noon to 9 p.m.

Arlington County wants people to attend and to take transit, so it's subsidizing the free rides. Bus transfers won't be issued except to riders boarding at Metrorail stations with a rail transfer or a SmarTrip card who need to make a subsequent bus-to-bus transfer. In that case, the driver will issue a free transfer, and the customer will not be required to pay the 35 or 45 cent rail-to-bus transfer charge.

Metrobus Detours
Some weekend events in the District and Arlington, including the blues festival, will require bus detours. You can see the events and the detours listed here on Metro's Web site.

Metro Changing Call Hours
Starting Sunday, the transit authority says, it is changing the hours of its customer information telephone line to better match call volumes.

The phone line, 202-637-7000 (TTY 638-3780), offers assistance with trip schedules, fares and general information. The new hours will be 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hours have been 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

A lot of the basic information on routes, fares, schedules and accessibility is available on Metro's Web site.

Great Falls Closure
The Walker Road bridge over Piney Run in Great Falls is scheduled to be closed for repair from 7 a.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. Detour: On Springvale Road from Route 7 or Georgetown Pike.

Connector Construction
Beginning Sunday and continuing weeknights for up to four weeks, the Maryland State Highway Administration will install 12 concrete beams over Shady Grove Road south of Tupelo Drive and Epsilon Drive for a new bridge that will be part of the intercounty connector.

The work hours will be 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, June 29 through July 2, July 8 through 10 and July 13 through 17.
Shady Grove Road will be closed periodically for 15 minutes between 11:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. just south of Tupelo and Epsilon Drives.

Double lane closures will occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights, through July 17.

Rockville Interchange
This summer, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans to start building an interchange at Rockville Pike and the relocated Randolph Road. The interchange will tie into the new Montrose Parkway, which Montgomery County is building just to the west. The project includes construction of a hiker-bikder trail connecting existing trails.

SHA representatives will discuss the impact of the construction at a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Montrose Christian School cafeteria, 5100 Randolph Road, Rockville.

Rockville Pike Bridge
The Maryland State Highway Administration is essentially done with its rehabilitation project on the bridge that takes northbound Route 355 over the Capital Beltway's outer loop. What drivers see now is the final configuration of the project.

Va. Highway Widenings
While many of Virginia's highway projects got clipped on Thursday because the state can no longer afford them, two major ones are underway in Northern Virginia.

Drivers on Interstate 95 should watch for midday lane closures next week in the areas around the Fairfax County Parkway, Lorton Road and Gordon Boulevard. That's part of the I-95 widening project that got underway this spring.

Along the western side of the Beltway, motorists will see more midday lane closures as construction begins on the HOT (high occupancy or toll) lanes project. New lanes will be added on the outer sides of the Beltway. Then four of the older inner lanes will be converted into the HOT lanes.

D.C. Pedestrian Plan
The District Department of Transportation will host a citywide public meeting on its recently released final draft of the Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan, developed over 18 months, lays out safety improvements for each of the city's eight wards over the next decade.

The session will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the University of the District of Columbia's Van Ness Campus, Building 46 East, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Commuter Bus Stop Moving
The Maryland Transit Administration says the District government wants it to move some of its afternoon bus stops on Pennsylvania Avenue away from National Archives. It gets too crowded around there.

So MTA says that starting Monday, the afternoon stops for bus routes 901, 902, 904, 905 will be moved up the block to the eastbound side of Pennsylvania Avenue at 9th Street NW. The morning buses will continue to drop passengers on westbound Pennsylvania Avenue after making the turn from 7th Street NW.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 20, 2008; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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